Secrets, Spies and Sources
The release of thousands of intelligence files to the National Archives means that we are no longer dependent on sensationalist journalism or the memoirs of ex-operatives for our understanding of the role of secret intelligence. Drawing on recently accessible material, this book illuminates the shady world of espionage, how it has served Britain since the early 1900s, and how ‘in its long and distinguished history, British intelligence has spied on almost every country in the world’.
English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper
Was it a betrayal of the modern movement to be in love, as John Piper was, with old churches? Harris finds the engagement of artists and writers with the English countryside during the interwar years ‘an expression of responsibility – towards places, people and histories too valuable and too vulnerable to go missing from art’. Among the now much-admired figures discussed are Paul Nash, Edward Bawden, Gertrude Hermes, John Betjeman and Daphne du Maurier, and the book features carefully chosen quotations and reproductions of their works.
Houses of History
A Critical Reader in Twentieth-Century History and Theory
A clear, jargon-free introduction to the major theoretical perspectives of 20th-century historians, this reader comprises twelve chapters on major schools of thought, from the empiricists to postmodernists. Each school is represented by a seminal text, including essays by EP Thompson (Marxist), Braudel (Annales), Theda Skocpol (historical sociology) and Catherine Hall (gender and history), accompanied by a substantial introduction and reading list.
The Making of the Modern Christmas
What do we mean by a 'traditional' Christmas? Were old Christmases that much better than modern celebrations? This book traces the history of Christmas from pagan mid-winter festivals to its establishment as a Christian feast in the 4th century, through Puritan disapproval and the Victorian revival and refurbishment of old customs to the present day. En route we find The Times in 1912 already lamenting the separation of 'the secular from the sacred part of Christmas'.
Hitler's Diaries, Lincoln's Assassins, and Other Famous Frauds
‘History,’ said Napoleon, ‘is a set of lies agreed upon.’ The six audacious hoaxes examined in this book each became widely accepted as historical fact, before being exposed as a fraud. From the purported ‘missing link’ fossils of ‘Piltdown Man’ to the numerous volumes of the Hitler Diaries, they illustrate the forger’s devious modus operandi and warn how easily ‘wanting to believe’, either through greed or for ideological reasons, allows us to be fooled.
Liber Amicorum et Illustorum Hospitum
Published to mark the 70th birthday of Archbishop Heim, this edition of his Liber Amicorum includes Peter Bander van Duren’s substantial introduction to the Archbishop’s life and his work in heraldry. The Liber Amicorum itself comprises over 150 monochrome plates and blazons, with Heim’s celebrated works of heraldic art covering both European and British armorial bearings.
Graveyard of Empires: A New History of the Borderlands
David Isby, the veteran American defence analyst, provides a meticulously researched account of the situation in Afghanistan up to 2010 and, in the light of the country’s history, considers the problems facing the US and NATO coalition.
The Dead Do Not Die
'Exterminate All the Brutes' and Terra Nullius
The two works presented in this volume are concerned with the impact of European colonialism on native peoples: in ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ – a phrase taken from Conrad’s Heart of Darkness – Lindquist travels in Africa and explores the history of the concept of extermination; Terra Nullius is about the shameful treatment of Aboriginal peoples in Australia. With an introduction by Adam Hochschild. Translated from the Swedish.
Shadows of Revolution
Reflections on France, Past and Present
Over the past two centuries, France has experimented with virtually every form of government. This collection of essays and reviews by one of America’s foremost observers of France reflects on the Enlightenment and the Revolution, Robespierre and Napoleon, the Vichy regime and the situation of French Jews, the Arab Spring and the terrorist attacks of 2015. Lively, informed, wide-ranging and highly readable, the book offers a unique insight into ‘the most intense political laboratory the world has ever known’.
Atlas of the Ethno-political History of the Caucasus
Poised between Europe and Asia at the strategic crossroads between the Black and Caspian seas, the Caucasus has an exceptionally complex mix of cultures, ethnicities, religions and languages. Through 57 highly detailed large-format maps, this superb atlas charts the region’s volatile history and shifting borders from the 18th century to the present day. The meticulously researched text elucidates the conflicting national narratives, and provides a comprehensive reference tool for scholars, geographers and historians.
The Theatric Tourist 1805
A Facsimile of the First and Only Edition of 1805 Preceded by a Facsimile of the Original Prospectus
In the late 18th century, actor-manager James Winston toured Britain taking notes on the theatres of every town. Published in 1804-5 with 24 hand-coloured plates, and reproduced here in facsimile, his work is a unique record of theatrical life. Winston notes the history, architecture and capacity of each venue, painting a vivid picture of Georgian England, from Plymouth ('a nightly scene of riot and debauchery') to Brighton, where 'the manager is perpetually bringing out women of loose character.' No jacket.
What was History?
The Art of History in Early Modern Europe
From the late 15th century onward, scholars across Europe began to write books about how to read and evaluate histories. These pioneering works - which often take surprisingly modern-sounding positions - grew from complex debates about law, religion and classical scholarship. In this book, based on his Trevelyan Lectures in 2005, Grafton explains why so many of these works were written, why they attained so much insight and why, in later centuries, scholars gradually forgot that they had existed.
A Brief Guide to Native American Myths and Legends
The world of Native American mythology is inhabited by such fantastical and capricious characters as the shape-shifting trickster Coyote and the mischievous Blue Jay. The seminal study of these sacred tales was written by the Scottish folklorist Lewis Spence in 1914; this updated edition has a new introductory essay, commentary on Native American culture and stories from tribes, not covered by Spence such as the Inuit.
A Brief History of the Great Moghuls
India's Most Flamboyant Rulers
Bamber Gascoigne's classic book tells of the most fascinating period of Indian history, the 16th and 17th centuries, when the country was ruled by an extraordinarily talented dynasty of emperors. Masters of almost limitless power and incomparable wealth, the 'Great Moghuls', as they were known to European travellers, were passionate about art, science and religion, but also sophisticated administrators who stabilized much of India. First published as The Great Moghuls in 1971.
An Adventure History of Paris
Paris is one of the most alluring cities in the world; however well we know it, it never ceases to surprise. Reading this book, which retells its history through the lives of its inhabitants from Balzac to Baudelaire, Sartre to Sarkozy, is like stumbling upon a tiny restaurant frequented by eccentric locals. Robb is both a scholar and an adventurer, and from 250 years of urban history, he weaves a dazzling tapestry of fact and fantasy, memory and myth. Slightly off-mint.